When Windows 8 was launched, users reported a serious and difficult to resolve issue where while trying to connect to the internet through WiFi, the system gave an error:
“Limited or no connectivity.”
Unfortunately, the issue was never patched by Microsoft, but as they launched Windows 8.1, lesser users reported the issue. The situation became even better with Windows 10 and simultaneous updates. However, still a significant number of users suffer from the problem.
The worst part is that we cannot narrow down the problem to any one cause. While troubleshooting, we would try to isolate every possible reason one-by-one and will check which one resolves the issue.
Try the following steps sequentially:
Isolate that the issue is with the computer and not the router or internet connection
Try connecting other devices (eg. your phone or tablet) to the same router and check the status of the internet connection.
Fix 1 – Check for APIPA and power-cycle the system
APIPA is condition in which the DHCP server is not responding so the system assigns an IP address to itself.
1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command cmd. Press Enter and it would open the Command Prompt window.
2] Type the command ipconfig and press Enter.
3] In the list of details, check the IPv4 address. It it is in the order of 169.254.***.***, it means the system has assigned an IP address to itself. In the condition, we would have to power-cycle the system.
4] Switch Off the modem, router, and the computer. Switch On the modem and wait for till all its light are up and steady. Now switch On the router and wait till its light are up and steady.To be on the safer side, try connecting a device other than your computer to the router and check when the internet starts working on that device. Once we are sure of the connection, switch On the computer.
This should resolve the APIPA condition.
Fix 2 – Run the Network Troubleshooter
Before attempting manual solutions, we could try Windows own network troubleshooter.
1] Click on the Start button and select the gear-like symbol to open the Settings page.
2] Select Updates and Security from the options and from the list on the left-hand side, choose the Troubleshoot tab.
3] Click on Network Adapter to initiate the Network Troubleshooter and go through the procedure.
Fix 3 – Reset the TCP/IP settings
1] Log in to your system as the administrator and press Win + R to open the Run window. Type the command cmd and press Enter to open the Command Prompt window.
2] Type the command given below and press Enter.
netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt
3] Once the command is executed properly, restart the system and check if it resolves the issue.
Fix 4 – Disable Firewall and antivirus software temporarily
At times, the anti-virus software could be interfering with the system. Open the application and pause or disable it temporarily to isolate the issue.
To disable the Firewall, the procedure is as follows:
1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command control .
2] Press Enter to open the Control Panel window and select Windows Defender Firewall from the options.
3] On the list on the left-hand side, we have the option Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
4] For both Private and Public network settings, select the radio button at Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended).
5] Click OK to save the settings and check if it resolves your issue.
Fix 5 – Wake up the WiFi adapter
1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command control . Press Enter to open the Control Panel window.
2] Go to Network and Sharing Center.
3] Click on your WiFi connection name.
Once the Wi-Fi status window Opens Up, Click on properties.
4] Click on Configure and go to the Power management tab.
5] Uncheck Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
Fix 6 – Use Google’s DNS server address
To isolate the possibility of issues with DNS server addresses, we could use the Universal DNS or Google’s DNS for we know they work for everyone else.
1] Go to your WiFi connection properties as mentioned in the previous solution.
2] Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4.
3] Shift the radio-button to Use the following DNS server addresses.
Enter the details in the boxes:
Preferred DNS address: 126.96.36.199
Alternate DNS address: 188.8.131.52
4] Click on OK to save the settings.
Fix 7 – Reset TCP/IP auto-tuning
1] Log in to the system as administrator.
2] Press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command CMD. Press Enter to open the Command prompt window.
3] Type the following command in the Command Prompt window and press Enter after each command:
netsh int tcp set heuristics disabled netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled netsh int tcp set global rss=enabled
4] Restart your system and check if this solution helps with the issue.
Fix 8 – Enable download over metered connections
1] Click on the Start button and then on the gear-like symbol to open the Settings window.
2] Choose Network & Internet from the list.
3] Make sure that the Status tab is selected in the list on the left-hand side and then click on Change connection properties.
4] Turn the switch next to Set as metered connection to On.
5] Reboot the system to check if it helps.
Fix 10 – Update Windows and drivers
While many would suggest updating the driver earlier in the list, I kept it at the end since we would use a wired connection for the same.
1] Connect your computer to the network hard-wired. Check if the internet works.
2] If the internet works, try updating Windows. Go to Settings as suggested in earlier solutions. Select Update & Security and click on Update now. Restart the system to check if it changed anything with the issue.
3] To update the drivers, press Win + R to open the Run window and type the command devmgmt.msc. Press Enter to open the Device management window. Expand the list of network adapters and click on Update driver for each one of them. You might also consider uninstalling the drivers and restarting the system. Keep the system connected to the internet hard-wired while doing so.
4] Users could also consider updating the drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
We have exhausted all possible troubleshooting steps. If it still doesn’t resolve the error, we could re-install the operating system and if that doesn’t work, a hardware technician’s assistance might be needed.